"I don't quit. I keep going."
-Hillary Rodham Clinton
She is, quite simply, the most famous, most complex, most loved/hated/admired/reviled woman - perhaps person - in America. And, whether she fulfills her life's ambition or not, she can already lay claim to being the first woman ever considered a serious contender for the presidency.
From the beginning, there have been the inevitable comparisons to Argentina's legendary Eva Peron. Sex, power, money, lies, scandal, tragedy, and betrayal were the things that defined the lives of both women. Yet most of what we know about Hillary Rodham Clinton is seen in the context of her tumultuous marriage to the 42nd President. Now a power in the Senate, Hillary waits for the right moment to make her own run for the White House.
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July 06, 2004
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Excerpt from American Evita by Christopher Andersen
Friday, January 19, 2001
Hillary Clinton was furious. Furious at the U.S. Supreme Court for handing the presidency to George W. Bush. Furious at George W. Bush for pushing his obvious advantage in Florida (where his brother was governor) to wrest control of that state's decisive electoral votes, and furious at Al Gore for blaming his defeat on the Clintons' own scandal-stained reputation.
In these waning days of their administration, the one person she was not furious at -- for a change -- was her husband. Throughout their marriage, it had always been Bill who screwed up and Hillary who came to the rescue. She had chosen to overlook his myriad past indiscretions as governor of Arkansas, and during their eight years in the White House stood squarely with Bill in the face of Whitewater and Travelgate and Filegate and Vince Foster and Paula Jones and the mother of all Clinton scandals, Monicagate. Hillary, in fact, went far beyond merely standing by her man. It was the First Lady who confronted each crisis head-on, master minding legal strategies and mounting counterattacks to debunk charges and discredit those with the audacity to have made them.
Now it was Bill's turn, and he did not have to be told what was expected of him. For years, White House staffers had been murmuring about "The Plan," the long-standing agreement that, once the Clintons left the White House, they would reverse roles: in return for all the sacrifices Hillary had made over the years -- all the dreams and ambitions put on hold, not to mention the heartache and searing humiliation she had had to endure because of his rampant womanizing -- Bill would throw himself behind his wife's political career. If all went according to The Plan, he would return to the White House as America's first First Gentleman. Hillary had already taken a step toward making The Plan a reality; just sixteen days earlier, she had been sworn in as the junior United States senator from New York -- the only First Lady ever elected to office.